Monday, February 8, 2010

Armored Vehicles: Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV)

This is a new, experimental vehicle for the USMC. It is known as the Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV). Hopefully it will get some awesome, mean-ass name soon. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. It is based on a M1 Abrams Tank chassis. Its purpose is to clear the route for other allied vehicles and troops. In many ways, it is the the Marines' answer to the threat that is posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and mines, which have been the greatest cause of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. The M1 series of tanks, with its heavily armored underbody, is probably the most mine resistant vehicle in the current US arsenal and the ABV will probably be the best of the series in that respect.

To clear and combat hidden explosives the Assault Breacher is equipped with a variety of systems, such as a full-width mine plow, two linear demolition charges, and a lane-marking system. The crew cabin is covered in reactive armor to provide additional protection against modern RPGs and guided anti-tank missiles. The vehicle mounts a M2HB .50 caliber machine gun in a remote station for defense against infantry and light vehicles and the turret has been replaced with a reinforced steel superstructure. There are also smoke and chaff grenade launchers that cover the front arc of the vehicle. You have to give it some points for looking mean too. I mean look at this thing. It looks like it eats refrigerators.

The Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) operates as part of the combined arms task force and is assigned to and employed by Combat Engineers. It is meant to breaching capability to the assault force of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It is fast and mobile enough to keep up with the tanks, APCs and other vehicles. In addition to IEDs and mines, the ABV will likely be able to destroy many types of static obstacles such as sand berms, barricades, and so forth. I sure as hell wouldn't stand in front of it. The ABV will be able to clear a lane that is wide enough for the assault forces and will be operated by a two-man crew with an option for remote control. The Assault Breacher will allow assault units to move rapidly through mine fields and trapped roads, destroying the enemies' ability to make use of obstacles and IEDs to slow or trap and have an opportunity to mass fires or establish defenses.

The linear demolition charges are known as theM58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC).
It is fired via rocket toward an enemy mine field and is filled with explosives. The idea is that the blast and concussion of the charges will set off all the mines, leaving a clear path 8 by 100 meters long through the field. It makes a huge explosion and is reportedly one of the loudest weapons used by anyone. It contains 5 pounds of C4 explosive per linear foot and is 350 feet long. That is 1750 pounds of C4. You could probably destroy a few blocks of houses with that much explosive.

ABV firing a mine clearing charge

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